This isn’t a photoshop or illustrated or drawn. It’s an actual photograph from the trees in Camel Thorn Trees, Namibia.
“Tinted orange by the morning sun, a soaring dune is the backdrop for the hulks of camel thorn trees in Namib-Naukluft Park.”
Article at: National Georgraphic
If you’re using a off-shoe cord to do your flash photography. Use your reach to add or subtract light to your subject simply by moving the flash, closer (more light) or further away (less light) from the subject.
A boring name for a law, the inverse square law, is a fancy way of saying the further the light goes the less bright it is. So if you want less light, which means darker shadows and “more drama” simply move the flash further away from your subject.
I just did a bunch of Dahlia shots at Bayard Cutting in Oakdale, NY. You can change character of the flowers by moving your flash back and forth as well as higher and lower. Try it and you’ll see a large array of new possibilities.
Keep in mind that the flash does not have to be pointing at the flower. Move the slightly off center, so that only the side of the light being thrown hits the flower. This is known as feathering the light and is often used with studio lights and soft boxes specially. However, the same technique can be applied to portable flashes.
Suffolk Camera Club and Aram Mirzadeh Present
Shedding light on Lightroom 3
Wednesday, September 8th, 2010 at 7 p.m.
Bohemia Rec Center, 1 Ruzicka Way, Bohemia, NY 11716-2161, (631) 472-7037
An introduction seminar into Digital Workflow using Adobe Lightroom 3.
Free Raffle, refreshments, etc.
Please see the Shedding Light flyer for all details.1 Ruzicka Way, Bohemia, NY 11716
[There was no 3.1, so don't go looking for it]
If you’re one of the people who have been effected by the bug that makes some older Lightroom 2 catalog not portable, this release candidate should fix that problem. It’s not the final version, so don’t put it on your production machine, but it’s an easy install and test to see if you can upgrade your old LR2 to LR3 version.
Along with that change comes a whole lot of other fixes and updates including Camera RAW 6.2.
If you’re interested head over to adobe labs for the download.
While doing some very late macro flower photography the moon decided it was going to look very interesting. Having had only my Canon EF 100mm Macro lens with me, there wasn’t a lot of “moon shot” that I could take, so I decided to incorporate the moon into the picture.
The equipment I had with me:
Canon 1Ds Mark II, 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens, 580EX II Flash with extension cable, 12, 20 and 36mm extension tubes, large and small silver and gold reflector, finally my Tripod.
- Lens extenders although make you be able to get in really close to a subject, like a sleeping bee (okay maybe it’s SLEEPING sleeping) you do lose your infinite focus. Remove all extenders before starting.
- Setup tripod and compose your shot, focusing back and forth until you have the shot you want.
- I tried a couple of different techniques to get the shot.
- First, a multi-focus shot. This is very similar to doing a HDR or Exposure Bracket, where you take a couple of exposures based on different settings so that you can combine them later for a higher light to dark range.
- Focus on the moon, take a shot: 1/250th @ f/6.3, ISO 100 – flash fired away.
- Without moving anything — refocus on the flower, take a shot: 1/250th, @f6.3, ISO 100, Flash fired at flower from right.
- Combine the two images in Photoshop as two layers, and mask. I’ll redo the steps on how I did this in a post tomorrow.
Moon focus shot
Final image, combined in PS, finished in LR3
Flower Focus Shot
- Second, a single shot trying to get as much as possible into DoF.
- I moved as far as back as I could. Increased distance to subject increases depth of field.
- Note that the moon’s focus is infinity.
- Focus on the flowers, and note the distance on the lens. Go half way between them, which were just about at the edge of infinity.
- Change aperture to f/32, as with the smaller the aperture the larger the depth of field.
- Take a single shot with flash pointing at the flowers, as right and higher as I could reach without pulling the camera.
This came up tonight, so thought it may help someone else as well.
What determines what your depth of field is? Most think that the aperture size is the most important factor for the size of the field. This isn’t true at all.
The three factors that determine your depth of field are:
- Your final focal length, by which I mean your lens’s focal length x your sensor magnifier.
If you have a crop sensor, for example a 40D, your magnifier is a 1.6. So a 50mm lens is actually a 80mm lens.
The factor is that the longer the focal length the smaller your depth of field is.
Example: With everything else equal, a 50mm lens has a depth of field of 5 feet, but a 200mm lens at exactly the same situation will have 3.6 inches of depth.
- The distance from you to the subject.
How close the subject is to you is also a very important factor, or rather your focus point is the determining factor.
The closer your focus point (past your minimum focusing distance) is to your lens the smaller the depth of field is going to be.
Example: A 50mm lens focusing at a subject 8.6 feet away (100 inches) will have a depth of ~45 inches. If the same subject was moved closer to the lens, say 16 inches away the depth of field would be reduced from 45 inches to 1 inch.
- Lastly, the aperture size of your lens.
The last option is the size of your aperture, as the smaller the aperture is the more depth of field you will have. Same goes true for the opposite, the larger your aperture size is, the less depth of field you will have.
Example: At f/7.1, the depth of field could be 1.3 feet. However at f/2.8 the depth is going to be reduced to 0.5 feet, and f/32 5.8 feet of depth.
This is also in order of most effectiveness, the longer your focal length the less the aperture size matters. Same is also true for the distance to subject and your aperture. The focal length and the distance to subject are just about neck and neck as far as importance. Both have a huge effect on the final result, however again the change in size of the focal length does more to effect the size of the field than the distance to the subject.
Had a fantastic day shooting at the Planting Fields Arboretum. Made some new friends. The arbortum also had a Rose Show, sadly a lot of the roses were not prestine, although I did a lot of shots, not sure if most are keepers.
I was invited along to go on one of the East End Lighthouses Organization tours. The tour was set to begin early 9 am out of the Orient Point docks, from the eastern most point on the north fork of Long Island. It started out as a gloomy day and we had a quick 5 minute shower right before I got to the docks but it turned into absolutely a great day. Now the weather obviously cooperated but what really make the day was the staff. The East End Lighthouse staff did a great job, they also brought in the best staff for both the food and the ship. I believe Cross Island Ferry company which I give you generously as a patron for my trips to Connecticut donated the boat, the food was also fantastic and plentiful.
Back to the trip. The ride was taken to almost all of the lighthouses around the east end of Long Island. They were great, good stories and lot of facts about each lighthouse. If you ever do the trip pay attention though because there was an actual quiz at the end.
Long Beach Bar Lighthouse
Orient Point Lighthouse
Plum Island Lighthouse
Little Gul Ligthhouse
Race Rock Lighthouse
North Dumpling Ligthouse
Latimer Reef Ligthouse
New London Ledge Lighthouse
Five Mile Point (New Haven) Light
Gardiners Bay Location (lighthouse no more)
What is the flash sync speed?
The way the camera actually operates when doing an exposure is by pulling two curtains across the sensor. This is how an exposure is done in modern SLRs cameras. When the shutter opens the first curtain is pulled across, followed by the second curtain at the speed of the “Shutter”. At “sync” speed, the second curtain follows the first curtain exactly when the entire sensor is open. If your shutter is faster than your cameras sync speed, let’s say 1/500th. The second curtain has started to close when the flash goes off. This usually results in some portion of the image being darker than it should be.
A quick example, let’s assume that the camera’s sync speed is 1/250th. If you set your shutter speed to 1/60th, the first curtain fully opens, 1/60th of a second later the second curtain follows so that the entire sensor is fully exposed for 1/60th of a second. Now let’s assume that you set your shutter speed to 1/8000th. The first curtain opens, as soon as it does the second curtain starts to close as well since it to be able to keep the exposure on the sensor to 1/8000th of a second. That means only a small sliver of the sensor is exposed at any point in time. If there was a “fast” bright source (like a flash) that was introduced only several small slivers portions of the sensor would record that light.
To summarize, the sync speed of any SLR is the fastest speed at which the entire sensor is exposed before the second curtain starts to close.
Most consumer DSLRs have a sync speed of 1/200th, most professional cameras have a sync speed of 1/250th or higher. Some of the really good exceptions are the original Canon 1D bodies which had a 1/500th sync speed which is unheard of now days.
Kent Falls, was another meetup with the Suffolk Long Island Photographers group. Although I had a great day, I have to admit that for waterfalls aficionado’s the falls is facing a bad direction. At least end of winter/beginning of fall time frame. The falls direction makes it so that 50% of fall is cover in shadow all day long. I have to make another trip end of Summer/Fall time frame to see how much the seasonal change of the angle of the sun has changed that.
There is a ton of places to take photos and for those unable to walk too far, the falls is barely 200 feet from the parking lot. With a long enough lens you don’t even have to get out of the car.
Kent, CT – not to be confused with Kent, NY is a great little town with a lot of character as well. The local chocolate shop had some great mixes that we availed ourselves to as well.
Equipment used: 1Ds Mark II, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS, Sigma 14mm f/2.8, 2 * 3Stop ND filters (77mm) to stop the light and get some great flowing water shots at 1-30s (as the sun came up the times went down dramatically).
What is a Neutral Density filters?
- Like Graduated Neutral Density filters are used to reduce the amount of light hitting the sensor.
Why would someone want to reduce the light hitting the sensor?
- By reducing the amount of light hitting the sensor you can increase your shutter speed. This allows you to do relatively long exposures without having to do so very early or very late into the night.
- A by product of long exposure is that by increasing the shutter speed you also get a little bit more of color and contrast into your image. Longer exposure shots will contain more detail in the colors than if you had shot them properly.
An example? The same exact shot within minutes of each other:
- With 6 stops of light (2 – 3 stop ND filters): 30″ exposure @ f/22, ISO 50 — the water turns into a milky liquid, shows motion, turns the image into a dream like state. It’s something different.
- Without any filter: 1/20th @ f/22, ISO 50. freezes just about all of the water, some movement visible although you have to look for it. IMHO, boring!